Remove HDD Doctor (Uninstall Guide)

  • December 21, 2010

HDD Doctor is a rogue system tool that ransoms your computer while displaying fake alerts stating that there is something wrong with your hard drive. When this infection is installed it will configure itself to start automatically when you start Windows. Once started it will display a stream of alerts stating that your computer has a corruption or hard drive problem and requesting that you let it scan your computer. When the computer is scanned it will state that there are a variety of system problems and that the only way for it to fix them is for you to purchase the program. This is obviously a scam and you should not purchase this program for any reason.

  • HDD Doctor screen shot
  • Fake repair
  • Scan results
  • Corrupted Program error
  • Disk error alert
  • Disk error scan results
  • Purchase scam
  • Serious system error alert

As already said, when this program is running you will see numerous alerts appear when you try to run a program or as time goes by. The text of these alerts are:

Confirmation
HDD doctor detected an error on your hard drive when trying to access a file
C:\Program Files\Internet Explorer\iexplore.exe
Perform data recovery now?

Disk Error
Can not find file: C:\Program Files\Messenger\msmsgs.exe
File may be deleted or corrupt.
It is strongly recommended to check the disk for errors.

Serious system error
The system will reboot in 37 seconds
Windows can not continue operating due to fatal system error.
Windows was forced to restart.
All unsaved data will be lost.

Confirmation
The system disk contains a large number of critical errors.
Windows could not fix most of them.
You can install install trial version of the third party software "HDD doctor" to fix found bugs.
Install "HDD doctor" now?

Confirmation
Your hard drive contains a lot of critical errors!
All your data including installed programs, documents, email, etc. are at risk of irreversible corrupt.
The trial version does not have low-level access module needed to fix the errors found.
It is strongly recommended to activate the full version software with necessary modules. Activate full version now?

All of these alerts are fake and should be ignored as they are only trying to scare you into purchasing the program.

As you can see, HDD Doctor was created to take control over your computer until you get frustrated enough to purchase it. It goes without saying that you should definitely not purchase it, and if you already have, please contact your credit card company and dispute the charges stating it is an computer virus. To remove this malware and other associated malware, please use the removal guide below.

Self Help Guide

This guide contains advanced information, but has been written in such a way so that anyone can follow it. Please ensure your data is backed up before proceeding.

If you are uncomfortable making changes to your computer or following these steps, do not worry! Instead you can get free one-on-one help by asking in the forums.
  1. Print out these instructions as we may need to close every window that is open later in the fix.

  2. It is possible that the infection you are trying to remove will not allow you to download files on the infected computer. If this is the case, then you will need to download the files requested in this guide on another computer and then transfer them to the infected computer. You can transfer the files via a CD/DVD, external drive, or USB flash drive.

  3. As this program blocks you from running most executables, we need to download a special one-shot fix that will allow us to continue with the removal of this infection. Please download the userinit.exe file and save it on your Desktop from the following link:

    userinit.exe One-shot Download Link

  4. Once downloaded, double-click on the userinit.exe icon that is now on your desktop. You should see a program briefly run and when it is finished a message will appear stating that the one-shot has finished. You can then proceed with the rest of the steps.

  5. Next we want to end any other malware processes that may interfere with the cleanup. To do this, please download RKill to your desktop from the following link.

    RKill Download Link - (Download page will open in a new tab or browser window.)

    When at the download page, click on the Download Now button labeled iExplore.exe download link. When you are prompted where to save it, please save it on your desktop.

  6. Once it is downloaded, double-click on the iExplore.exe icon in order to automatically attempt to stop any processes associated with HDD Doctor and other Rogue programs. Please be patient while the program looks for various malware programs and ends them. When it has finished, the black window will automatically close and you can continue with the next step. If you get a message that RKill is an infection, do not be concerned. This message is just a fake warning given by HDD Doctor when it terminates programs that may potentially remove it. If you run into these infections warnings that close RKill, a trick is to leave the warning on the screen and then run RKill again. By not closing the warning, this typically will allow you to bypass the malware trying to protect itself so that rkill can terminate HDD Doctor . So, please try running RKill until the malware is no longer running. You will then be able to proceed with the rest of the guide. If you continue having problems running RKill, you can download the other renamed versions of RKill from the rkill download page. All of the files are renamed copies of RKill, which you can try instead. Please note that the download page will open in a new browser window or tab.

    Do not reboot your computer after running RKill as the malware programs will start again.


  7. At this point you should download Malwarebytes Anti-Malware, or MBAM, to scan your computer for any any infections or adware that may be present. Please download Malwarebytes from the following location and save it to your desktop:

    Malwarebytes Anti-Malware Download Link (Download page will open in a new window)

  8. Once downloaded, close all programs and Windows on your computer, including this one.

  9. Double-click on the icon on your desktop named mb3-setup-1878.1878-3.0.6.1469.exe. This will start the installation of MBAM onto your computer.

  10. When the installation begins, keep following the prompts in order to continue with the installation process. Do not make any changes to default settings and when the program has finished installing, make sure you leave Launch Malwarebytes Anti-Malware checked. Then click on the Finish button. If MalwareBytes prompts you to reboot, please do not do so.

  11. MBAM will now start and you will be at the main screen as shown below.



    Malwarebytes Anti-Malware


    Please click on the Scan Now button to start the scan. If there is an update available for Malwarebytes it will automatically download and install it before performing the scan.

  12. MBAM will now start scanning your computer for malware. This process can take quite a while, so we suggest you do something else and periodically check on the status of the scan to see when it is finished.



    Malwarebytes Anti-Malware


  13. When MBAM is finished scanning it will display a screen that displays any malware that it has detected. Please note that the infections found may be different than what is shown in the image below due to the guide being updated for newer versions of MBAM.


    MalwareBytes Scan Results


    You should now click on the Remove Selected button to remove all the seleted malware. MBAM will now delete all of the files and registry keys and add them to the programs quarantine. When removing the files, MBAM may require a reboot in order to remove some of them. If it displays a message stating that it needs to reboot, please allow it to do so. Once your computer has rebooted, and you are logged in, please continue with the rest of the steps.

  14. You can now exit the MBAM program.

  15. You can now delete the userinit.exe file that is on your desktop. Please note that there is a legitimate C:\Windows\System32\userinit.exe file that should not be deleted.

  16. As many rogues and other malware are installed through vulnerabilities found in out-dated and insecure programs, it is strongly suggested that you use Secunia PSI to scan for vulnerable programs on your computer. A tutorial on how to use Secunia PSI to scan for vulnerable programs can be found here:

    How to detect vulnerable and out-dated programs using Secunia Personal Software Inspector

 

Your computer should now be free of the HDDDoctor program. If your current anti-virus solution let this infection through, you may want to consider purchasing the PRO version of Malwarebytes Anti-Malware to protect against these types of threats in the future.

View Associated HDD Doctor Files

%UserProfile%\Application Data\hdddoctor.exe %UserProfile%\Application Data\install_hdd %UserProfile%\Desktop\HDD Doctor.lnk %UserProfile%\Start Menu\Programs\HDD Doctor.lnk c:\WINDOWS\Tasks\At1.job <Numerous more Tasks>

File Location Notes:

%UserProfile% refers to the current user's profile folder. By default, this is C:\Documents and Settings\<Current User> for Windows 2000/XP, C:\Users\<Current User> for Windows Vista/7/8, and c:\winnt\profiles\<Current User> for Windows NT.

View Associated HDD Doctor Registry Information

HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Internet Settings "WarnonBadCertRecving" = '0' HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Internet Settings "WarnOnPostRedirect" = '0' HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Winlogon "Shell" = '%UserProfile%\Application Data\hdddoctor.exe' HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Internet Settings "WarnOnPost"='0' HKLM\Software\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Winlogon "Shell" = '%UserProfile%\Application Data\hdddoctor.exe'

This is a self-help guide. Use at your own risk.

BleepingComputer.com can not be held responsible for problems that may occur by using this information. If you would like help with any of these fixes, you can ask for malware removal assistance in our Virus,Trojan,Spyware, and Malware Removal Logs forum.

If you have any questions about this self-help guide then please post those questions in our Am I infected? What do I do? and someone will help you.

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